The United States' first publicly demonstrated telegram was dispatched on May 24th, 1844, by the system's developer, Samuel Morse. The telegram's message - What hath God wrought? - was chosen from the bible by the daughter of Morse's friend, Henry Ellsworth, and successfully travelled from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland, instantly stunning the general public. Below is a photo of the outgoing paper tape. Each code character's corresponding letter was subsequently handwritten underneath by Morse himself.
Click here for the full, extremely wide image.